GREEN BAY, Wis. – The most well-known media draft guru of all-time has the Green Bay Packers picking a receiver in the first round of his two-round mock draft.
At ESPN.com, Mel Kiper selected Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman for the Packers at No. 29 overall. The Packers have a need for a receiver. Immediately, they could use another playmaker capable of making teams pay for ganging up on Davante Adams. For the long term, the Packers have just one receiver under contract for 2022: Malik Taylor.
In two full seasons and his COVID-abbreviated final campaign, Bateman caught 147 passes for 2,395 yards and 19 touchdowns. He had a monster sophomore campaign with 60 grabs for 1,219 yards (20.3 average) and 11 scores to earn first-team all-conference and third-team All-American honors. In five games in 2020, the catch number was strong (36) but he wasn’t nearly as productive in terms of big plays (13.1 average, two touchdowns).
Bateman isn’t big (6-foot 3/8, 190 pounds) but he’s fast (4.43 in the 40) and athletic (36-inch vertical jump). He is No. 24 out of 90 receivers in this year’s draft class in Relative Athletic Score.
“I would just say all-around,” Bateman said about what separates him from other receivers in the class. “I can play in the slot, I can play on the outside. I've proven that, and I've put it on tape. I'm a very detailed route-runner. I can catch the ball very well, and I am fast, even though some people doubt that. I just feel like I'm the whole package.”
In the second round, Kiper addressed the need on the offensive line by selecting Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman. A left tackle for the perennial powerhouse, he has guard-tackle versatility and the potential to be Green Bay’s future right tackle.